Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Getting old DOS games working on modern hardware. (DOSBox topics belong in DOSBox areas below, not here).

Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby Hammer » 2011-9-26 @ 01:53

(Paging Gulikoza) :)

As most of you probably know, there was an add-on MPEG decoder board sold back in the day under the name Reelmagic/Realmagic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RealMagic

The games that supported this board had a separate version released called the "MPEG version" rather than the same piece of software supporting both the hardware acceleration and the non-hardware accelerated version. the Realmagic versions look for the hardware and try to make some calls to it to render the movies.

I've acquired MPEG versions of two games:

1) Conspiracy by Cryo (AKA KGB). In the non-MPEG CD version, Donald Sutherland's character speaks to you in the worst example of full-screen FMV I've ever seen - terrible resolution. I haven't been able to get the MPEG version to play, but it has standard MPEG videos that look much better.

2) Return to Zork - there is FMV in this game in a few places, including the tele-orb with the wizard inside. In the non-MPEG CD version, you get video for the first few times the wizard speaks to you, and then he turns into a still image. With the MPEG version, I believe all of the wizard's dialog is video.

Question - can anyone help to get the MPEG version of these games working on modern computers without the need for special hardware?

Thanks in advance for reading this.
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby DonutKing » 2011-9-26 @ 02:10

Very interesting. I own the original DOS version of Return to Zork and still have the box, encyclopedia etc.
I always wondered why the Wizard's image turned static once you went underground.


I believe ScummVM supports Return to Zork but this is the first time I've heard of the realmagic version.

I'm keenly interested to see what the differences are between the two versions. May I ask where you got it? because I'd love a copy for myself.
I always noticed the videos were heavily compressed and I wonder if they are much better looking in this version.

If the videos are just MPEG format then it should be possible to extract the videos from the PRJ file.

FYI - there's a RealMagic card on ebay now

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Sigma-Design ... 993wt_1139

I'd buy it if I had a copy of the RealMagic version of RTZ.
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby Hammer » 2011-9-26 @ 02:32

DonutKing wrote:Very interesting. I own the original DOS version of Return to Zork and still have the box, encyclopedia etc.
I always wondered why the Wizard's image turned static once you went underground.


I believe ScummVM supports Return to Zork but this is the first time I've heard of the realmagic version.

I'm keenly interested to see what the differences are between the two versions. May I ask where you got it? because I'd love a copy for myself.
I always noticed the videos were heavily compressed and I wonder if they are much better looking in this version.

If the videos are just MPEG format then it should be possible to extract the videos from the PRJ file.

FYI - there's a RealMagic card on ebay now

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Sigma-Design ... 993wt_1139

I'd buy it if I had a copy of the RealMagic version of RTZ.


I got them on ebay of course. :)

There's no PRJ file, the files are just straight up MPEG, easy to play. Here's a sample (attached - rename .zip to .mpg).
Attachments
FWIZ33XX.zip
(1.79 MiB) Downloaded 317 times
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby DonutKing » 2011-9-26 @ 02:57

That's awesome.... you would win +100 internets if you were to zip the MPEG files up and host them somewhere ;)
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby Hammer » 2011-9-26 @ 03:08

DonutKing wrote:That's awesome.... you would win +100 internets if you were to zip the MPEG files up and host them somewhere ;)


Well, it would probably be better if someone could help get them to play within the game, right? Let's see if anyone responds...

BTW, I already made an ISO of the Conspiracy MPEG disk. I can ISO RTZ also, but I can't host it unfortunately.

Oh and btw, the videos in general do seem to be better looking in the MPEG version, although I'm working from memory and didn't do a direct comparison. The wizard is just the most obvious one since he turns into a photograph. :)
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby DonutKing » 2011-9-26 @ 03:13

You can try www.dropbox.com for 2GB of free file hosting.
I'd be wiling to have a crack getting it to run under Windows :)
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby WolverineDK » 2011-9-26 @ 04:14

DonutKing: could you please drop the dropbox BS, to me DB is like a pyramid scheme, the more people you get into DB, the more upload space you will get.
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby DonutKing » 2011-9-26 @ 04:44

No.
If you haven't noticed, I'm not giving anyone any referral links so I do not stand to benefit from anyone else that joins.
Dropbox is far superior to any other 'free' file sharing service such as rapidshare or megaupload (apart from renting one's own server space).
I am not affiliated with Dropbox, I just find it incredibly useful.
It is your prerogative to deny yourself such a useful tool but you should not enforce that onto others.
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby WolverineDK » 2011-9-26 @ 23:37

DonutKing, it still smells weird, okay mate ? I do not recommend other upload sites like that. But if I should recommend one, then it should be multi upload, but I am not in that kind of business. Second of all, why I am using both megaupload, and multi upload. Is because the shit works, without a problem. And second of all I first learned about multi upload, after I knew about Megaupload. So stop the bollocks, and no worries mate.
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby ufoufo512 » 2011-9-28 @ 10:33

I just got PCI Realmagic card from the local recycling center. Sigma Designs REALmagic EM8300 is printed on the chip. After googling I think it is Hollywood+ model.

I am eager to give it a try with some games. What do I need?
1) Will my model work with the games?
2) What kind of operating system and drivers do I need? I guess Win98 could be fine.
3) Passthought cable? Do I need it? Had anyone seen those? Or even pinouts?
4) Games? Obviously these are hard to find, but I guess eBay is the place. Games supporting the card(s) came bundled with the hardware, right? Is the any more information about those: pictures, YouTube -videos? No demo version of the games, I assume?
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby Shagittarius » 2011-9-28 @ 21:54

There were some stand alone games sold. I use to have a ReelMagic board myself and currently have The Horde, and Psychotron for it. The Horde was a decent game, really your not going to see anything that looks impressive with this board now a days, no one used it for anything other than decoding cut scenes. Since your used to seeing full screen high res fast framerate video I doubt it will impress.

At the time it was cool seeing near DVD quality video on my 386.
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby swaaye » 2011-9-29 @ 01:42

The clip posted above appears to be essentially VCD quality level. 320x240 MPEG1.

MPEG1 and VCD were hyped like crazy back in the early to mid '90s. It didn't really go anywhere though and DVD supplanted it quickly.
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby Shagittarius » 2011-9-29 @ 03:44

Yeah Reel Magic boards were MPeg1. They could also decode VCDs but I had much trouble getting Coneheads to play =). I think I still have that around somewhere...
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby bakudd » 2015-8-18 @ 08:22

Hammer wrote:I've acquired MPEG versions of two games:

1) Conspiracy by Cryo (AKA KGB). In the non-MPEG CD version, Donald Sutherland's character speaks to you in the worst example of full-screen FMV I've ever seen - terrible resolution. I haven't been able to get the MPEG version to play, but it has standard MPEG videos that look much better.

2) Return to Zork - there is FMV in this game in a few places, including the tele-orb with the wizard inside. In the non-MPEG CD version, you get video for the first few times the wizard speaks to you, and then he turns into a still image. With the MPEG version, I believe all of the wizard's dialog is video.


I don't suppose either of these were ever dumped?
The Mac version of RTZ was dumped but I don't think it supports the MT32 music.
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby Hammer » 2015-8-18 @ 08:33

I've since picked up some more of these but have not dumped any of them. I'm still interested in this topic but unfortunately, nobody with skills ever expressed interest in trying to get these games running without the special hardware.
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby bakudd » 2015-8-19 @ 23:30

Hammer wrote:I've since picked up some more of these but have not dumped any of them. I'm still interested in this topic but unfortunately, nobody with skills ever expressed interest in trying to get these games running without the special hardware.


I meant for people who own the realmagic cards but have no games for it
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby ynari » 2015-8-20 @ 09:41

I have a Realmagic Lite card (no inbuilt soundcard). It's a bit of an arse to use because it's ISA, needs a feature connector, there's a very limited selection of games it works with and the drivers are basic too.

However, it *does* work when you get it working properly, and it works well. Flawless MPEG1 decoding on a 486. I got it working under Windows (can't remember if it was 9x or NT) and OS/2 (probably Warp v3, might even have been 2.11).

No one has ever reverse engineered the card to my knowledge - there are the official drivers and nothing else.

It's probably one of my most ill advised computer purchases - I bought it when it was getting dumped by box shifters, for about 100 quid.
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby dr.zeissler » 2015-10-31 @ 10:47

I thought I own such a board, but I looked and I got PCI-MPEG2 Boards from Sigma. :(
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby Uka » 2019-6-19 @ 06:48

Does anyone still has the ReelMagic version of 'Conspiracy'?

For now, only five ReelMagic/REALmagic games are confirmed and available: 'Dragon's Lair', 'Space Ace', 'Return to Zork', 'The Horde' and 'The Psychotron'. I have two versions of the latter one, the later boxed and the earlier jewel-cased edition, but the differences are not significant (mostly typoes fixed).
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Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games

Postby Uka » 2019-6-23 @ 11:44

I have found that 'The Horde' used to have a patch fixing the freezes.

Unfortunately, there are only two versions of that patch available - for the diskette version and for the (regular) CD version. The RM-version was available on Sigma Design's FTP site - does anybody still have it per any chance?
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